Free Country showed its holiday spirit Tuesday night when it partnered with The Fresh Air Fund to host a night of ice skating at the Rink at Bryant Park.
Some 100 kids and their families joined Free Country chief executive officer Ira Schwartz and five-time Olympic medal-winning gymnast Nastia Liukin for some sliders, cookies and a few circles around the ice.
“This is our way of giving back to kids who might not otherwise have the opportunity to go skating,” Schwartz said.
Free Country also created a limited-edition T-shirt featuring the brand’s new advertising slogan — #GetOutThere — with 100 percent of the proceeds going toward The Fresh Air Fund’s free summer and academic enrichment programs for children from underserved New York neighborhoods. The T-shirt is available in four colors and for sale on the company’s web site and the company has guaranteed a minimum donation of $25,000 to the group.
“Like The Fresh Air Fund, we believe in the life-changing potential of the outdoors,” Schwartz said. “Every child should have the opportunity to get outside, and at Free Country we provide high-quality, accessible product that allows you to do just that.”
He said the brand is also providing kids with jackets for them to wear on a winter retreat with the organization in February.
The Fresh Air Fund executive director Fatima Shama added: “Our similar missions in believing in the potential of the outdoors is perfect synergy. We start by connecting our children in the summer with opportunities where they have the chance to create new friendships, swim, hike and explore — all in the outdoors.”
After visiting with the kids in a heated indoor tent, Liukin strapped on skates and joined them on the ice. “I have pretty good balance,” she said.